CFUW Week in Review


Week in Review: November 2, 2015

Week in Review is a weekly publication sent out from CFUW National Office, for the purpose of highlighting events in the news related to CFUW, and news about national action on policies important to our members.

*The articles linked in WIR are from a variety of Canadian news and international sources. The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.* 


At the June 2015 CFUW Annual General Meeting in Quebec City, CFUW members voted in favour of a resolution pursuing further research into the damages caused by neonicotinoid pesticides. These pesticides are heavily used in the farming industry, and it is widely believed that they have disastrous effects on pollinators, namely bees. Last week an Ontario Superior Court upheld a ruling to dramatically reduce the use of these pesticides by farmers. Read the full story here. 

Women in Canada

International Women's Rights

Education News

  • What does the new Canadian government mean for higher education? Read the full article here. 
  • International education stakeholders are optimistic about what the change in federal leadership might bring to higher education, particularly in regards to the path to citizenship for foreign students. Read the full article here. 

Violence Against Women

Climate Change // COP21
CFUW members have continually expressed interest in climate change issues. With the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) and an international focus on climate change, we will be providing a weekly review of developments in regards to Canadian and international policy on climate change.

Read here to learn about COP21, what is going to be discussed and what to expect. 

  • Is it time for a Canadian summit on climate change? Globe and Mail's Mark Jaccard thinks so. Read his article here. 
  • Read this interview from MacLeans with Tim Flannery, former head of the Australia Climate Commission. He talks about carbon, coal, and the UN Conference in Paris. 
  • The National Observer has compiled a "To Do" list for Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau on climate change. Read the list here. 
  • Many people are hoping that the new federal government means a new face for Canadian climate change policy. Read the CBC article here
  • Will COP21 succeed? International Policy Digest provides an overview of the conference, and what onlookers can realistically expect. Read their article here. 

Week in Review                                                       August 23, 2015


CFUW Releases Early Learning and Child Care Videos ahead of Election
We are pleased to announce the release of seven videos on YouTube on the subject of early learning and child care. These videos were recorded at the CFUW Guelph Community Child Care Forum, organized to bring awareness to the importance of early childhood education and the serious lack of quality licensed child care spaces in Canada. Read more and view the videos...

Election Preparations

Election season is upon us - perhaps more quickly than we all expected, but some of our Clubs were ahead of the game. 

CFUW Southport launched a great campaign honouring women's right to vote, won almost 100 years ago: "Grandma asked me to JUST VOTE". Dressed as Suffragettes, they'll be out in the Southport area sharing information about how, where and why to vote this upcoming federal election. Read more about their campaign in the shoreline beacon. The Saskatoon Club also began urging people to vote with a clever adaptation of Rosie the riveter. Read more and watch for further election resources on our website.

Tributes to Flora MacDonald

CFUW is saddened by the recent passing of Flora MacDonald. A trailblazer in Canadian politics, Flora paved the way for many women leaders to come. She will be missed and remembered fondly. Flora was an honorary member of CFUW, and a friend to many within CFUW. Read some CFUW member tributes to Flora. 

Take Action

Vote Child Care 2015
The Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) is running a campaign called "Vote Child Care" to make sure child care is a priority for voters this federal election on October 19th. CFUW members can get involved by signing the Pledge to Vote Child Care, or taking part in a week of action, "Talk it up for Child Care", from September 13-20. Visit the CCAAC website for more information.

Women in the News - Canada 

Federal Party Leaders Not Up for Debating Gender Equality

One week into Canada's federal election campaign, party leaders have failed to put women's rights and gender equality issues up for debate. The Up for Debate campaign, led by a broad coalition of 175 organizations, has collected over 50,000 signatures from people across Canada calling for a nationally broadcast leader's debate on women's rights and gender equality issues. But lack of a clear commitment from all political party leaders to participate in such a debate has put this plan on ice. Read the full press release here.

The duderific Maclean's debate: A male political and media culture upheld

One white male moderator, three white male "expert" commentators, and three out of four white male party leaders. The presence of the oft-shunned Green Party leader Elizabeth May presented the only instance of progress for female representation in the Maclean's leaders debate on August 6. In the post-debate analysis, all remains as it was. The all-white duderific panel of experts seems this day in age a bewildering, stubborn remnant of male privilege -- in the whole of this country not a single qualified female journalist could be found? (Or two? Or an all-female panel? Could you imagine that? I can't.) Read the full Rabble article here.

This could be the election when women are taken seriously: Delacourt

It's not looking like we'll see Canada's four political leaders on stage debating women's issues during this election.

But when the history of this long, long campaign is written, we will be able to say that women themselves - as premiers, campaign chiefs and even one leader - were all big players in the 2015 election. Read the full Toronto Star article here.

Canada Is Doing Something Radical to Support Women Entrepreneurs

Canadian entrepreneurial organization called SheEO is raising $1 million to support 10 female-led ventures - and the women themselves will decide how to divvy up the money. The initiative is called Radical Generosity. There are only two rules for how the money can be divided: 1) no one company gets it all, and 2) it can't be split equally. SheEO has used this process before, to good results. For example, one group decided that each company would come up with budgets and ask for money from the group, which resulted in companies sharing resources to keep each other's costs down. Read the full TechCo article here.

Canada's envoy to Afghanistan a boon to women

Under Deborah Lyons's leadership, the Canadian Embassy in Kabul has been at the forefront of women's issues in the country. Read the full Toronto Star article here.

Counting Canada's Women Political Columnists on One Hand

It's not every day you see a journalist called a "piece of shit."

That the three television reporters on the receiving end of a now-infamous outburst were women can be chalked up to coincidence. But was it, really? "It's not that male reporters are never heckled. But I do think that women are treated differently in these situations," says Canadian Press reporter Jennifer Ditchburn, who tweeted her solidarity after the incident. "You just have to look online in the social media world to see how that transpires." Read the full Tyee article here.

New comprehensive CFL policy on violence against women called "bold," "historic"

The new policy on violence against women the CFL announced Thursday after almost a year of development is a huge step forward on a number of levels. Tracy Porteous, the chair of the Ending Violence Association of Canada and the executive director of Ending Violence B.C., called it "bold" and "historic" on a media conference call, and in many ways, it is. The policy, which was developed in consultation with key groups working to end violence against women across Canada, is one of the first national ones of this scale, and it incorporates many remarkable and positive elements, including education of players and staff, training players to educate the wider community, a focus on helping the woman involved if an incident does occur, application to team officials and even fans, and a recognition that a criminal conviction won't always be obtained in these cases. Read the full Yahoo Sports article here.

The hidden disease: Why aren't more doctors treating eating disorders?

Although she has a severe illness, Amy Preskow says she has been repeatedly sent home from hospital emergency departments, turned away from overstretched publicly funded treatment programs, and at times, even belittled by health care workers. Preskow, who has anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, says doctors have sent her home with instructions to "just eat," nurses have treated her "like a small child" to get her to finish her meals. Once, after she collapsed in public from a panic attack, she says, paramedics mocked her for wearing a medical identification bracelet that warned of her eating disorders, dismissing her case as a "waste of time." Read the full Globe and Mail article here.


This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

Education News

Canadian Federation of Students: Education Debt 'Crisis' Must Be Election Issue

The Canadian Federation of Students wants to put growing education debt on the federal election radar and says other governments should follow Newfoundland and Labrador's shift to student grants instead of loans. "We have a crisis in Canada when it comes to overall student debt burdens," said national chairperson Bilan Arte. Read the full Huffington Post article here.


Nunavut's education mess continues to embarrass

Nunavut's woeful school system continues to attract the wrong kind of attention. The latest comes from a website published by four young data analysts called The 10 and 3.

Their goal is to tell interesting stories about Canada by using statistical data to create maps, interactive charts and other types of visualizations. In a project completed last week, the story they tell does not flatter Nunavut's department of Education. "Nunavut's high school graduation rates are shockingly low," the group found. In their study, they compared Canada's overall high school graduation rate with the OECD average. Read the full NunatsiaqOnline article here.

Newfoundland and Labrador eliminates student loans

A student group in Newfoundland and Labrador is welcoming the elimination of provincial student loans, which the provincial government has replaced with non-repayable grants. The province announced earlier this month that provincial student loans will be replaced with a system of needs-based non-repayable grants. It is the first province to eliminate the loan system, a move that is expected to affect about 7,000 students. Read the full CTV article here.

Financial Education in the Workplace Is Beneficial in Many Ways

The workplace offers so much potential when it comes to helping Canadians become better money managers. In fact, establishing a workplace financial education program is an ideal way to meet one of the priorities identified in the National Strategy for Financial Literacy - Count me in, Canada - reaching more people by building financial learning into activities that are already part of people's lives. Read the full Huffington post Blog here.


This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

International Women's Rights


'Marry before your house is swept away': Climate change is giving child marriages a boost

'Marry before your house is swept away' is what young girls are being advised in Bangladesh, according to a report by Human Rights Watch published in June this year. "Whatever land my father had... the house he had, went under water in the river erosion and that's why my parents decided to get me married," says Sultana M, who was married at age 14, in her testimony to Human Rights Watch. The report suggests that the high occurrence of natural disasters caused by climate change is one of the key reasons for the child marriage 'epidemic' in the country. Read the full India Express article here.


Dispatches: Saudi Women Registering to Vote is a Start

Saudi Arabia took a significant step forward this week by allowing women for the first time to both register to vote and to run for office in the municipal elections due to take place in December. Read the full HRW piece here.


Colombia's new 'femicide' law targets violence against women

Colombia's new law on femicide is a key step to combat violence against women, but forensic experts and prosecutors will need to change the way they investigate gender-related killings to win convictions, officials said.

In this Latin American country of 47 million people where on average one woman is killed every two days, the issue of femicide - defined as the killing of a woman by a man because of her gender - is under the spotlight. Read the full Reuters article here.


Women's Rights Museum Could Become Newest National Park

Women who fought to earn their right to vote set the stage for a century of enfranchisement advocacy in the United States. The 14 Democratic women in the U.S. Senateintroduced a bill on Thursday to designate the nation's foremost museum of women's suffrage as a national park.

If the bill passes, it would mean increased funding to pay for park rangers, expanded hours and crucial repairs to the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum in Washington, D.C. Read the full Huffington post article here.

Amnesty backs decriminalising sex work, angering women's rights activists

Amnesty International voted on Tuesday to endorse a contentious plan to support the decriminalisation of sex work, a move that will lead to pressure on governments by the prominent rights group not to punish millions of sex workers worldwide.The group has come under attack by women's rights campaigners and Hollywood stars, including Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson, since a draft of its proposed policy was leaked. Read the full Sydney Morning Herald article here. CFUW also sent a letter to Amnesty International Canada expressing our contrary position on the issue of prostitution/sex work. Read the letter from CFUW here.



This section includes excerpts from a number of International news articles. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW. 


Canadian Federation of University Women


Upcoming Events and Dates


Women's History Month

October 4

Sisters in Spirit Vigils

October 18

Persons Day

October 19

Federal Election Day

October 23

Suffragettes Film Open in select theatres

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Week in Review                                                            July 10, 2015


CFUW Takes Stance on Neonicotinoid Pesticides, Carbon Taxes, and Physician Assisted Death

At CFUW's 2015 Annual General Meeting members voted on series of policy resolutions to support a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, to promote carbon taxes to reduce climate change, and support individuals' rights to physician assisted death while protecting the vulnerable. These policy resolutions now represent CFUW's official stance on these important issue. Read the resolutions here.

Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper Calling for Action on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls

On June 21, 2015 National Aboriginal day, 200 CFUW members attending our AGM in Quebec City rose in unanimous support for action on missing and murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls, as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Report. Our letter calls for an immediate response with a national action plan to confront this pattern of gender based, racial violence. Read the letter here.

CFUW Makes Parallel Submission to UN Human Rights Committee 

CFUW has made a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in advance of Canada's sixth periodic report reviewed by the committee from June 29 - July 24, 2015. The issues addressed in the report focus on equality between women and men, particularly equal remuneration for work of equal value, employment equity, access to justice, and the human right to be protected from non-state actor torture. Read the report here.


Women in the News - Canada 

Child care for $10 a day feasible in Canada:  Economy would benefit from employment, GDP boost, report finds

Introducing universal $10-a-day child care would grow the province's economy by $3.9 billion and generate $1.3 billion in government revenue once fully phased in, according to a report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Implementing the plan - which advocates say would create enough child care spaces for all families who need it, as well as improve affordability and the quality of early childhood education in B.C. - would cost $1.5 billion over 10 years, researchers at the University of B.C.'s Human Early Learning Partnership have estimated. Read the full Vancouver Sun article here.



Focus on 'family violence' in cases of missing, murdered aboriginal women misguided 

Last month, RCMP delivered an update on missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada, a report that led many to put the onus for reform on aboriginal families and communities.  However, taking a closer look at the RCMP report paints a more complex picture. Read the full CBC article here. 



Gender inequality in the sciences? It's still very present in Canada 

Nobel laureate Tim Hunt made some foolish remarks to a group of scientists and journalists: "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab. You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry." Unsurprisingly, the comments were not well received, and within a week he had resigned from a number of prominent positions in the U.K.

The comments triggered an international discussion about the status, treatment and experience of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). While we like to think that gender inequality in STEM is old-fashioned and that as a society we've made great advances in equal opportunities, the numbers don't always tell the same tale. The truth is, in Canada at least, very little has changed. Read the full Maclean's article here.


Canadian elections hinge on women - at the polls and behind the scenes 

The fact that the women's vote could be a deciding factor in Canada's forthcoming federal election is not lost on any of the three main parties. For the first time in the country's history, all three have women in charge of their national campaigns. The Conservative national campaign manager, Jenni Byrne, New Democrat national campaign director, Anne McGrath, and Liberal national campaign co-chair, Katie Telford, will be engaged in the battle for votes in roles long dominated by men. "The reality is that you can't do poorly among women and win an election inCanada," said pollster Nik Nanos.



Can Canada learn from Australia's free MBA programs for women?

Recently reported by the Globe and Mail, it would appear that some business schools inAustralia are offering no-cost or low-cost MBAs to various women who are eligible. This is the country's attempt to get more women involved in business programs and, eventually, executive level positions. Read the full Canada business review article here. 


Nine-year-old girl wins petition to join 'boys only' robot course in Canada
A 9-year-old girl in Canada was allowed to join a "boys only" robotics course after her petition to convince a local library went viral. Cash Cayen from Timmins, Ontario, was interested to sign up for the robotics course at the Timmins Public Library. However, she was denied admission on the ground that she is a girl and the course is only for boys. Read the full article here.





This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

Education News

Universities adopt principles on indigenous education

Canada's universities have adopted a set of principles outlining their shared commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for indigenous students and fostering reconciliation across Canada. Universities Canada said closing the education gap between indigenous and non-indigenous students is a "long-term core priority". Over the past year, its board of directors and member universities have developed the 13 principles to guide Canada's universities in their efforts to "enhance access and success for Aboriginal students in higher education", the Association said in a public statement on 29 June. Read the full article here.



Six Ways Continuing Education Can Close Canada's Skills Gap 

Ask an employee from just about any industry in Canada, and they'll tell you: there is a huge gap between the training required to move up the career ladder and the training provided by their employers. A recent survey found that while 71 per cent of employers agree they have a responsibility to provide career management programs for their employees, only 29 per cent actually offer them. So how do we close this gap in training needs? Continuing education can play a huge role. Read the full Huffington Post article by Dr. Marie Bountrogianni is Dean of The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University.


Canadian Education: 11 Ways Schools Across Canada Are Different

There are lots of variations, big and small, across Canadian school districts. For instance, kids start school on different dates depending on where they live, and some cities have junior high schools, some do not. One thing is for sure: across Canada, education systems differ from each other in surprising ways. Read the full Huffington post article here.



This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

International Women's Rights


Women's Rights Group Sponsors Ads Targets Sexism and Pay Discrimination in FIFA 

While thousands of people attended the New York City parade to celebrate the U.S. Women's Team's 2016 World Cup win, a women's advocacy group decided to use the celebratory moment to combat sexism in FIFA. The women's rights group known as UltraViolet held a demonstration to protest wage inequality at the first ticker tape parade for a World Cup champion women's soccer team in lower Manhattan on Friday.  Read the full article here.


Sierra Leone urged to ban FGM after backing women's rights treaty 

Sierra Leone's decision to back an international treaty on the rights of women in Africa could lead to a new law banning female genital mutilation (FGM) in a country where the practice is rife, campaigners said on Tuesday.

The Ebola-hit country last week became one of the last West African nations to ratify the Maputo Protocol, which addresses a range of issues including FGM, violence against women, child and forced marriage, and women's economic empowerment. Read the full article here.


A step backwards for women's rights in Afghanistan

Afghan lawmakers delivered a blow to the country's President Ashraf Ghani on July 8 by rejecting 40-year-old Anisa Rasouli, the nation's first-ever female nominee, for the Supreme Court. Rasouli received 88 votes, nine short of the 97 needed to secure her appointment. It came after several clerics criticized the nomination, claiming that only men were fit to sit on the nation's highest court. The move marks a setback for the Afghan government's efforts to empower women and promote them to high-profile positions. Read the full article here.


Afghanistan growing more receptive on women's rights, says British ambassador

For the first time, Afghan leaders seem willing to make sincere attempts to improve the rights of women, according to the new British ambassador to Kabul.

Speaking at her Kabul residence, where she took up her post in May, Karen Pierce said the Afghan government has taken bold and important steps towards reconciliation with the Taliban following the drawdown of foreign troops last year.

Pierce sees peace and women's rights as inseparable. In her previous job as the UK's permanent representative to the UN, she spent two years trying to convinceUN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to find practical ways of including women in peace efforts in Syria. Read the full Guardian article here.



Women's-Rights Groups Plan to Deliver Abortion Drugs to Poland by Drone

Four women's-rights organizations based in Germany and Poland are planning to deliver WHO-approved abortion pills by drone from Germany to a Polish border town. The drone will carry the drugs from Frankfurt an der Oder to women across the river in the Polish town of Slubice, in a bid to get around Poland's restrictive abortion laws The delivery will also hopefully bring attention to the discrepancy between Poland's abortion laws and those of other European countries, says one of the organizations involved, Women on Waves. Read the full TIME article here.



World a less safe place for women's rights activists, charity says
 Despite a global momentum to end violence against women and girls, women's rights defenders are at higher risk of violence now than two years ago, according to new research.

A poll by ActionAid of 47 women's rights defenders in more than 20 countries found that almost two thirds felt their safety and security had deteriorated in the past two years. Read the full article here.





This section includes excerpts from a number of International news articles. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW. 


Canadian Federation of University Women


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Week in Review                                                            June 5, 2015


CFUW Makes Parallel Submission to UN Human Rights Committee 

CFUW has made a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in advance of Canada's sixth periodic report reviewed by the committee from June 29 - July 24, 2015. The issues addressed in the report focus on equality between women and men, particularly equal remuneration for work of equal value, employment equity, access to justice, and the human right to be protected from non-state actor torture. Read the report here.

CFUW Calls for Restoration of Funding for Quebec Native Women Inc.

CFUW has just learned, through an APTN report, that the Quebec Native Women/ Femmes autochtones du Québec (QNW-FAQ) stands to lose core funding as a result of transferring the  Aboriginal Women's Programming Elements (AWPE) from Heritage Canada to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Developmen's Family Violence Prevention Program. The potential loss of funding is troubling, and puts the future of this organization at risk.We have therefore called on the Government of Canada to take immediate steps to ensure continuity in this vital organization's funding and operations. Read our letter here.


Women in the News - Canada 

TRC report calls for better education, health and inquiry into missing, murdered women

Canada has lost the sense of urgency that once existed for properly addressing the legacy of residential schools but there is still hope it will happen eventually, the independent commission tasked with documenting the truth about residential schools and guiding Canada to reconcile with indigenous people said today. In releasing the first part of its final report, the three commissioners posted 94 recommendations for action by the federal and provincial governments, churches and other Canadians. Read the full article from the Carillon and Winnipeg Free Press.



Election 2015: Not a breakout year for women candidates 

Canada's top political parties are three quarters of the way through the nominations for the scheduled October 19 federal election, but if the current rate of female nominees holds, the trend of women in elected office could actually retreat in 2015. Even if the Liberals and Conservatives chose only women in the ridings where they've yet to nominate a candidate, they still wouldn't have an equal number of women running for seats. Of the top three parties, only the NDP, with 116 seats left to fill, could top the halfway mark, but they would need to green-light at least 77 more women. Read the full iPolitics article here.




Canada's 30% Club aims to boost proportion of women on boards of directors 

Officials from many of Canada's largest banks and accounting firms are among a blue-chip group of founding members of Canada's new 30% Club, a global organization aimed at promoting more women to senior corporate roles.

The organization is unveiling its Canadian founding members Tuesday and will announce that Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce chief executive officer Victor Dodig will head the club, following a handover by founding chair Spencer Lanthier. Read the full Globe and Mail article here.


Five Canadian women for the Forbes' power list next year 

Last week, Forbes published its list of 100 most powerful women in the world including leaders in the field of politics, business, technology and entertainment...  But surprisingly no Canadian women made the cut. Surely there are a few names that could rival the likes of Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, who ranked No. 99. Yahoo Finance Canada suggests 5 women who should appear on the list next year.



Aboriginal women now make up one-third of Canadian female prison population 

The number of aboriginal women in Canadian prisons is on the rise, according to the federal prison watchdog and the Native Women's Association of Canada wants justice officials to do something about it.

Women of aboriginal descent now make up more than 35 per cent of the female prison population, Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada, told CBC News this week. Aboriginal women represent about four per cent of the general population. Read the full CBC article here.


More women alleging harassment want to join lawsuit against RCMP 

Nearly 400 female RCMP officers and civilian employees from across Canada are asking a B.C judge to certify a class action lawsuit filed by Const. Janet Merlo over sexual harassment and gender discrimination at a hearing Monday. Read the full CBC article here.


Canada's tax on tampons to stop July 1 

The tax on tampons will end a lot sooner than anyone was expecting. Tory MP Michelle Rempel tabled a motion in the House of Commons Thursday to exempt feminine hygiene products from the federal portion of the GST, beginning July 1. After decades of campaigns to end the tax, the movement quickly gained cross-party support in the house with the aid of a cadre of female Conservative MPs. Earlier this month, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion to call for an end to the tax, but it was not expected to be introduced until the next budget. The motion was introduced by NDP MP Irene Mathyssen, who championed the cause in a 2013 private members bill. Read the full Toronto Star article here.


Women in sports: Gender equity remains elusive 

There's no chance that the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup will be played on grass, like the men. But after the turf war retreats into history, Karina LeBlanc wants another issue placed in the gender blender for discussion: Parity at the coaching and management level. The veteran goalkeeper of Canada's national soccer team believes the day is coming when the gap between men and women is breached in the boardroom and in front of the players' bench. The current World Cup team could play a role. Read the full Vancouver Observer article here.


How to fix Canada's mental health system

Too many patients seeking mental health diagnosis and treatment are falling through the cracks - at tremendous economic and human cost. But, Erin Anderssen reports, it doesn't have to be this way. Public coverage for psychotherapy, using technology to reach across vast distances and making sure we educate the young

about mental health are just a few of the proven ways Canada can deliver the quality care patients need. Read the full Globe and Mail article here.




This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

Education News

Universities must address residential school legacy, Justice Sinclair says 

There is no forgiveness without recognition. That's the message Justice Murray Sinclair brings to the country's universities Saturday in Ottawa, when he gives the opening lecture in this year's Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. As chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Justice Sinclair has listened to the testimony of more than 7,000 former residents of residential schools, as well as past teachers and staff. On Tuesday, the commission will reveal the recommendations of its six years of work, as well as its reading of federal archives to which it gained access through a court order. Read the full Globe and Mail article here.



Why University Should be Universal

For the past two decades, the population of Canada has been the subject of a vast and largely unnoticed experiment whose results have enormous relevance for the world. The experiment used the entire adult population to test this question: Should higher education become nearly universal, with college and university degrees as widely held as high school diplomas? Given that postsecondary credentials have traditionally provided a large benefit to some people, will they continue to produce those benefits if held by nearly all people? Read the full Globe and Mail article here.




This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

International Women's Rights


Political Marginalization of Women Hinders Tunisian Democracy

Four years after the popular uprising that led to the removal of the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, Tunisia held its first free and democratic presidential election in the country's history in December 2014. AWID spoke to Khadija Cherif, one-time contender for the position of Minister of Women, Family and Children to learn about some of the challenges to women's political participation in the country. Read more on the AWID website.


Kyrgyzstan strives to make inroads on poor maternal health record 

The country has the highest maternal mortality rates among eastern European countries, but a three-year $11m programme aims to improve quality of care. Read the full Guardian article here.



6 Promising Women's Rights Victories We Saw In The Last Year, Because It's Not All Doom And Gloom

It's no secret that the global fight for women's rights has been an uphill battle for decades (or centuries, really). Across the globe, women are harassed just for walking around on the street, are often unable to make decisions regarding their own health care and family planning, can be arrested for anything from driving to having a miscarriage, and in many countries, even killed just for being women. Given the tremendous weight of this struggle, it's necessary to take the time to celebrate the successes we've had in the global fight for women's rights. Read the full Bustle article here.


Taliban, Other Afghans Talk Women's Rights in Norway

Members of Afghanistan's Taliban are in Norway for informal talks with representatives of Afghan society, the Norwegian government said today, in a new sign of a nascent dialogue.
According to Afghan and Norwegian media, the talks were expected to focus on women's rights in Afghanistan. "We can confirm that Norway is hosting informal discussions with a number of Afghans from varied political backgrounds. The participants include a number of political officials and members of civil society, including women and members of the Taliban," foreign ministry spokesman Frode Andersen told AFP. Read the full article on NDTV.



Nigeria's ban on female genital mutilation is a big win for women's rights

In a move welcomed as a step in the right direction by international advocates, outgoing Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has signed a bill officially banning the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, which was passed by the Nigerian Senate earlier in May, also will prevent men from leaving their families without proving financial support, according to Reuters. Read the full Quartz article here.



Women Take the Reins to Build Peace in Colombia
 Nelly Velandia is a rural leader from Nuevo Colón, a village in central-eastern Colombia, who joined the agrarian movement at a young age. Seeing that those most affected by violence and inequality were women, she joined the National Association of Indigenous and Peasant Women of Colombia. Her life has often been at risk, with constant death threats from various illegal armed groups because of her work to defend the rights of rural women. Undeterred, Ms. Velandia persisted for decades, convinced that women need to take an active part in peacebuilding: "For us, peace is defending the land, food sovereignty, and women's rights. That is what peacebuilding is about." Read the full UN Women article here.




Week in Review                                                            May 1, 2015


Gender and Education Analysis of Federal Budget 2015

On April 21, 2015 the Government of Canada presented the federal budget. This year's budget is heavy on tax benefits, as well additional support for women entrepreneurs and women in the corporate sector. Some of the announcements include a $60 increase in the Universal Tax Benefit, income splitting through the "family tax credit", an Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs, and enacting a "comply or explain" 

approach to promote more women on corporate boards. There are also a few notable announcements related to education, including some changes to the student loans program, increased funding for Aboriginal education and increased funding for the

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences Engineering and Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Read more in our gender and education budget analysis. 

CFUW Joins Prevention of Violence Canada (POVC)

POVC is an alliance of public health practitioners, researchers, educators, organizations and individuals working to:

  1. Foster national action to prevent violence guided by a strategic plan for Canada
  2. Garner practical support for public health approaches to violence prevention by all orders of government and in partnerships with civil society
  3. Encourage sustained investment in programs that work to prevent violence;
  4. Make prevention an equal priority to law enforcement in reducing violence; and,
  5. Promote the use of appropriate data and research. 

As an individual you can sign on to the Violence Prevention Charter (VPC), an official document intended to recognize the commitment of Canadian citizens to the creation of a Canada "Free of Violence".Visit the website to find out more and sign on to the Charter.

IFUW Re-brands as Graduate Women International (GWI)

In its 96th year of championing education, women's rights and gender empowerment worldwide, 27 April 2015 marked the launch of the International Federation of University Women's new name of Graduate Women International (GWI). Learn more about the history and transition of IFUW to GWI here: 


Take Action

This Mother's Day, Ask a Mom Her Vision for Canada

Mother's Day is a time to honour mothers, motherhood, and the influence of mothers in society. With a federal election just around the corner, this Mother's Day the Alliance for Women's Rights wants to engage moms in a conversation about politics.


What issues are important to moms in Canada? We want to find out!


Ask a mom to share her vision and questions for political party leaders with #UpforDebate #Placeaudebat on TwitterFacebook or by email:


Make sure to also share our petition calling for an election debate on issues identified by women.


We've already secured the commitment of Thomas Mulcair and Elizabeth May, but we still need Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau to agree.  You can help by signing and sharing our petition!

Spring into action for child care: A Canada-wide week of action (May 10th-17th 2015)

The Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) has launched it's new campaign "Vote Child Care 2015". One of their first activities is a Canada-wide week of action for child care, from May 10th to 17th, coinciding with Mother's Day. Spring into Action for Child Care is an opportunity to raise child care as an issue and to gain support for affordable, quality child care in Canada. Find out more by visiting the CCAAC website


Women in the News - Canada 

A review on sexual assault in the Canadian military faults leadership

An independent external review on sexual misconduct in the Canadian military is expected to be released on Thursday, a month after the final report was delivered to the government.

A source familiar with the report told Global News that it faults the leadership for a sexualized culture within the military chain of command. Read the full Global News article here.


Review prompts McMaster University to increase female faculty's pay  

 Female faculty at McMaster University will be getting a raise after a two-year study showed differences in salary between the sexes at the Hamilton school. The analysis found that women faculty members earned on average $3,515 less than their male counterparts in 2012 and 2013 - even after adjustments were made based on seniority, tenure, faculty and age. Read the full Global News article here.


Young Nova Scotians help province draft 1st sexual violence strategy  

Young Nova Scotians are adding their voice to the province's first sexual violence strategy.One hundred and fifteen youth, ages 14 to 25, were asked about their understanding of sexual violence, their views of sexual consent, and how to improve services and support systems.They were also asked about factors that contribute to sexual violence. Staff at the Heartwood Center for Community Youth Development conducted the interviews on behalf of the province over an eight-month period. Read the full CBC article here.


Breaking one of Canada's best kept secrets: MMIW  

Canada is not often seen as a place where widespread human rights violations against the indigenous population occur on a regular basis. Much of the international community's perception of this country is still that of pristine nature and polite inhabitants with health care.In fact, Canada's indigenous population is over-policed and under-protected, both men and women are incarcerated at rates much higher than the non-indigenous population and face police violence and deaths in custody all too often.Yet our own mainstream media is finally no longer able to ignore one of this settler colonial country's best-kept secrets: Ongoing genocidal violence against the indigenous population - and more specifically the targeting of indigenous women, girls, transgender and two-spirited people. Read the full CBC article here


Femmes dans les C.A.: Ottawa veut forcer la main des entreprises  

 Le gouvernement fédéral veut augmenter le nombre de femmes figurant sur les conseils d'administration (CA) des entreprises canadiennes en les obligeant à adopter une politique de la diversité - sans quoi elles seront forcées d'expliquer publiquement les raisons de leur refus. Lire l'article complet ici.    



New Brunswick cutting $1.9M from daycare program

 Private daycare operators in New Brunswick are reeling following word the province will make cuts to a key program in June.The Quality Improvement Funding (QIFS) program will receive $1.9 million less in funding. The program is designed to increase the availability and quality of child daycare services in the province by boosting salaries of the people who work in the industry on a scale based on their level of training. Read the full CBC article here.



This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

Education News

Business, government, education need to go back to school on STEM skills: report

Canadian employers have been complaining about a skills shortage of science, technology, engineering and math grads but as Simona Chiose reports, many STEM grads have just as much trouble finding jobs in their field as those in other disciplines. Read the full Globe and Mail article here.


Canada pledges $130M for education abroad, including help for Syrian refugees

The Canadian government has promised $130 million for child-education projects abroad, including help for young refugees displaced by the Syrian crisis. The contribution stems from different announcements made during the annual spring financial meetings in Washington. International Development Minister Christian Paradis said the bulk of the money will go to a four-year extension of Canada's involvement in the Global Partnership for Education, which includes governments and NGOs. Read the full Maclean's article here


Higher tuition fees are distorting the choices poorer students make

 Tuition fees have been at the forefront of Britain's political parties' pre-election campaigning, but what do we really know about how the cost of higher education affects the number of students going to university, and the choices they make when applying? Research undertaken by the National Education Opportunities Network (Neon), involving nearly 1,500 year 13 students from eight different areas of the country applying to university this year, showed that those from lower participation neighbourhoods were 20% more likely to choose to study near to home, and to live at home while studying, than those from the highest participation neighbourhoods. Read the full Guardian article.




This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

International Women's Rights


U.N. Report: Women May Need 'Different Treatment' to Achieve Economic Equality

 Equal opportunity is not enough to ensure gender equality, according to a groundbreaking new report from U.N. Women. Instead, governments must commit to social policies that treat women differently in order to help them achieve economic parity with men. Read the full Times article here


New estimates show 126,000 pregnant women affected by Nepal quake   

Needs are quickly escalating in Nepal, in the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake. The most recent UN estimates indicate more than 5,000 have been killed and 8 million people have been affected. Based on the latest available data, UNFPA now estimates some 2 million women and girls of reproductive age are among those affected - including some 126,000 pregnant women. Read the full UNFPA article here.



Afghanistan: Reforms Needed to Ensure Justice for Women Victims of Violence

Access to justice for women victims of violence in Afghanistan needs to be strengthened, a new UN report urged on 19 April. The report states that while there is a legal framework in place for such cases, there remain many factors hindering access to justice and redress for such women, in particular the lack of available civil remedies.  The report released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) identifies the factors that enable or hinder women's access to justice in cases involving violence. Read the full press release from the UNOG here. 


Draconian Ban on Abortion in El Salvador Targeted by Global Campaign 

International and local human rights groups are carrying out an intense global campaign to get El Salvador to modify its draconian law that criminalises abortion and provides for prison terms for women. Doctors, fearing prosecution, often report poor women who end up in the public hospitals with complications from miscarriages, some of whom are sent to jail for supposedly undergoing illegal abortions. There are currently 15 women in prison who were sentenced for alleged abortions after reported miscarriages. At least 129 women were prosecuted for abortions between 2000 and 2011, according to local organisations. Read the full IPS News article here




Breaking ranks, soaring high: Afghanistan's first female pilot 

With a hint of swagger, Afghanistan's first female pilot, since the fall of the Taleban, is defying death threats and archaic gender norms to infiltrate what is almost entirely a male preserve. Dressed in khaki overalls, aviator shades and a black headscarf, 23-year-old Niloofar Rahmani cuts a striking presence as she struts across the tarmac at the Kabul Air Force base, which is otherwise devoid of women."Ever since I was a child, when I saw a bird in the sky, I wanted to fly a plane," she told AFP at the base, hemmed in by rolling dun-coloured hills.

Read the full AFP news article here

Week in Review                                                    April 10, 2015


CFUW Urges the Government of Canada to Support the Inclusion of Asbestos in Prior Informed Consent List

Historically the Government of Canada has blocked the inclusion of asbestos in the Prior Informed Consent list of the Rotterdam Convention, which requires countries importing a hazardous substance to give prior informed consent before receiving it. With Canada no longer exporting chrysotile asbestos, we're hopeful that the government may change its tune at the upcoming convention meeting in May 2015. Read our letter to the Prime Minister concerning asbestos and the Rotterdam ConventionWhat can you do? 


Send a copy of this letter to your Member of Parliament as a Club by mail or email with an introductory note.


International Day Against Victim Blaming

April 3 marked the fourth annual International Day Against Victim-Blaming. Since the topic of rape culture has become such a forefront issue in the media and on college campuses in recent years, the issue of victim blaming has been more widely discussed. One of our fabulous volunteers in the national office prepared a blog post on Why the International Day against Victim-Blaming Matters.

CFUW Joins Twitter

We've just joined Twitter! Follow us @CFUWFCFDU to get updates about our national activities, women's rights and education news, and more:

Take Action

Spring into action for child care: A Canada-wide week of action (May 10th-17th 2015)

The Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) has launched it's new campaign "Vote Child Care 2015". One of their first activities is a Canada-wide week of action for child care, from May 10th to 17th, coinciding with Mother's Day. Spring into Action for Child Care is an opportunity to raise child care as an issue and to gain support for affordable, quality child care in Canada. Find out more by visiting the CCAAC website


Women in the News - Canada 


British Columbians hold strong views on child care options

While many governments and political parties have talked about changing the way child care works in Canada, most of these promises end up as anachronistic paragraphs in forgotten platform documents.

Most of the assistance for families comes from handouts or tax breaks. At the federal level, the Conservative government has discussed increasing the monthly taxable Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) payment from $100 to $160. In the latest provincial budget, the B.C. Liberal government introduced a monthly $55 tax credit for families with young children. Read the full Vancouver Sun article here.



Pregnant in limbo: How vulnerable women pay for Canada's universal health care

The numbers in Canada are hard to nail down, but advocates say there are at least 500,000 people living in Canada who don't have provincial health insurance. And tens of thousands of them are pregnant women. For many of them, the excitement of bringing a new life into the world comes along with a lot stress and anxiety. They worry that they won't be able to afford the care they and their babies need to be healthy. But does Canada have a duty to care for these women and their unborn children? Healthcare workers who work with uninsured pregnant women say there's no question Canada does. Read the full CBC article here.


The Fog of Rape: Normalizing a Campus Crime

Powerful piece of investigative journalism carried out by a dozen students at St. Thomas University in Fredericton NB. Members of the class of 2015 that is about to graduate, their professor is Jan Wong, former Globe & Mail reporter and author. Read their piece in full here.




Indian women's powerful 'rap against rape' goes viral 

Two young women say they've been overwhelmed with the response to a "rape rap" video posted online to draw attention to the frequency of sexual assault in India. TV host Pankhuri Awasthi and theatre artist Uppekha Jain are using their rap song to gain global attention for the issue in their home country. Under the name "BomBaebs," the women took to the Internet last month to a spark discussion about ­the serious topic. Read the full CTV article here.



This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.


Education News - Canada 


Do private schools provide a better education?

Do private schools provide a better quality education than public schools? Many Canadians seem to think so. In a 2012 poll by Ipsos-Reid, two-thirds of Canadian parents said they would take their children out of the public system and send them to a private school if they could afford it. This is despite the fact that international rankings consistently report that Canada has one of the top public education systems in the world. So why then would a majority of Canadians want to abandon public schools for private ones? There are likely a couple of factors at work here. First, private schools (especially the elite ones) do a good job of marketing themselves to parents. They often offer the promise of your child getting into the university of their (or more likely your) dreams, and going on to achieve great things. And it is true that many prominent Canadians (e.g. John Tory (open John Tory's policard)) have attended private schools in the past. Read the full Toronto Star article here.



Bringing higher education into the 21st century: Goar

Someone finally said it bluntly: Canada is producing too many unemployable university graduates.

"We owe it to ourselves to question outdated ways of thinking and deeply ingrained attitudes that constrain our capacity to adapt to an evolving labour market," wrote Ken Coates of the University of Saskatchewan in a forthright report commissioned by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. "Young adults need a bracing reality check about the job and career opportunities that await them. Parents need to be much more realistic about their abilities and skills. Policy-makers need to shift away from Canada's open-access approach to post-secondary education - based on the idea that everyone deserves a degree or at least the chance to try to earn one - to a strategy based on achievement, motivation and compatibility with national needs." Read the full Toronto Star article here.


Canada Must Introduce Food Education In Schools And Address The Issue Of Nutritional Inequities, Says Popular Chef Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver, Britain's celebrity chef and TV star, has urged Canadian politicians to join an international campaign for mandatory diet education in Canada's schools. Oliver is a best-selling author, too. According to him, time has come for Canadian politicians to tackle the menace of diet-related diseases, which he called "Canada's number one killer." Read the full International Business article here. 




This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.


International Women's Rights

Feminist Initiative shakes up politics in Sweden and Norway 

Feminism has been enjoying a popular resurgence in much of Europe - but in Sweden and Norway it is becoming a political force. What does the growth of a feminist party in both countries mean for mainstream politics and the fight for equality? Read the full BBC article here.



Education for All Global Monitoring Report

On Thursday, April 9, UNESCO released the latest Education for All Global Monitoring Report, which highlights progress and challenges in achieving access to education for all since 2000. Read more on the UNESCO website



Millions of Dollars for Climate Financing but Barely One Cent for Women

The statistics tell the story: in some parts of the world, four times as many women as men die during floods; in some instances women are 14 times more likely to die during natural disasters than men. A study by Oxfam in 2006 found that four times as many women as men perished in the deadly 2004 Asian tsunami. In Sri Lanka, where over 33,000 died or went missing, two thirds were women, Oxfam research found. Read the full IPS News article here.


Female-Run Venture Capital Funds Alter the Status Quo

Step into the offices on Sand Hill Road, the heart of Silicon Valley venture capital, and one thing is immediately striking - the almost all-male cast of leading characters.

But there is another corner of the venture capital industry that looks quite different. There, women run firms, and all-female networks of angel investors share deal opportunities and advise one another on investments.

This new group of firms and angel networks - including Cowboy Ventures, Aspect Ventures, Broadway Angels, Illuminate Ventures, Forerunner Ventures and Aligned Partners - stands in stark contrast to the rest of the industry.



Displaced Afghan women face prison-like conditions

Look around any of Afghanistan's large cities - Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e Sharif, Kandahar - and it is easy to see that Afghanistan is facing an internal displacement crisis. Camps and settlements for Afghanistan's 820,000 internally displaced people (IDPs); forced by conflict or natural disaster from their homes, sprawl out for miles on the city fringes, with thousands of new arrivals every week. With an ongoing civil war, a land prone to devastating floods, avalanches and drought, this year that figure is expected to climb to one million. 

Read the full article here.

Partnerships Key to Advancing Girls' Secondary Education

This month, the Clinton Foundation has shared inspiring stories of "ceiling breakers" from around the world. These stories highlight progress in achieving full participation for women and girls while also serving to underscore the gaps that remain, many of which have been identified by No Ceilings' recently published Full Participation Report and data visualizationsthrough NoCeilings.orgCHARGE, a CGI Commitment to Action announced at the 2014 CGI Annual Meeting, has grown to over 40 partners supporting "ceiling breakers" around the world, oftentimes by effectively leveraging government and community partnerships. CHARGE, the Collaborative Harnessing Ambition & Resources for Girls Education, aims to bring government, NGO, multilateral and private sector partners together to collectively advance girls' secondary education. Read the full piece here.




This section includes excerpts from a number of International news articles. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW. 


Week in Review                                                    March 15, 2015


CFUW and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

CFUW's delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has been busy in New York this past week. On the first day of the session member states adopted a political declaration on the topic of the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. CFUW joined with nearly 1,000 women's groups and feminist networks from around the world to react to the declaration, outlining areas where commitments to gender equality, women's empowerment, and the human rights of women and girls need to be strengthened. Groups that have signed the joint statement have pledged to hold their governments accountable for creating the transformative change needed to ensure that all women and girls can f, ully exercise their human rights, free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. Read the full statement here.

One week still remains of the CSW session; you can watch for updates from our new Twitter account @CFUWFCFDU and through the CFUW Facebook group.


CFUW in the News this International Women's Day 

In the lead up to International Women's Day CFUW President, Doris Mae Oulton and several Clubs had articles published a newspapers and online media across the country:

CFUW Joins Twitter

We've just joined Twitter! Follow us @CFUWFCFDU to get updates about our national activities, women's rights and education news, and more:

Take Action


Women were the majority of voters in the last federal election, yet the last time federal party leaders publicly debated the issues that specifically affect women and girls in an election campaign was over 30 years ago. 

The Up for Debate campaign, involving over 100 women's organizations and allies, has called on all federal political party leaders to agree to a women's rights debate once the 2015 election is called. 

The New Democratic Party and the Green Party have agreed to participate in such a debate, but we continue to wait patiently to hear from the Liberal Party of Canada, Conservative Party of Canada and Bloc Quebecois.


Help us to ensure that all parties take issues that affect women seriously. You're invited to join Up For Debate in the next phase of the campaign by signing our petition asking Prime Minister Harper, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Bloc Leader Mario Beaulieu to commit to participating in a nationally broadcast debate focused specifically on women and girls during the 2015 federal election campaign. 


After you have signed the petition, please take the time to share it through Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can also help collect signatures for our paper petition.


The Petition


Women in the News - Canada 

Maclean's panel: Frank talk about women in politics

On March 5, Maclean's took a day-long look at women in politics at an event hosted by the University of Ottawa's iVote-jeVote campaign. Maclean's senior writer Anne Kingston moderated the high-powered political panel featuring Anne McGrath, NDP national director; Katie Telford, Liberal campaign co-chair, and Michele Austin, Summa Strategies senior adviser. Read a recap of that conversation here.

Wynne unveils action plan to halt sexual violence, harassment in Ontario

Sexual violence and harassment are "rooted in misogyny," Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said on Friday as she unveiled a plan to fight such behaviours through legislation, increased funding and a provocative ad campaign. The "It's never Okay" plan includes new legislation and an awareness campaign centred on an ad depicting assaults and harassment the Premier described as uncomfortable to watch, but much harder to experience. The ad shows a boy with an inebriated girl at a party, a man rubbing the shoulders of an uncomfortable female co-worker, a student showing friends pictures of his girlfriend and a man at a bar slipping something into a woman's drink. In each of the situations they look directly at the camera and thank the viewer for not saying anything. Read the full Globe and Mail article here, and find out more about the plan "It's Never Okay" on the Ontario Government website.

The Ontario government has also launched a social media campaign for bystanders to sexual violence - "If you witness an act of sexual violence or harassment, you can always do something to help". Says the Ontario Government.


Join the conversation and tell #WhoWillYouHelp 

Why are women leaving Canada's workforce?

Women left Canada's labour force in record numbers last year. Who are they and why did they leave?

Over 80,000 women left Canada's labour force in 2014, bringing their labour force participation rate down to 61.6 per cent from 62.2 per cent in 2013 (all figures annual averages). This is the lowest rate since 2002, and a reversal of decades of gradually growing gender equality through women's participation in the workforce. Read the full Rabble article here. 


Canada failed to protect aboriginal women: U.N. committee  

Canada has committed a "grave violation" of aboriginal women's rights by failing to adequately investigate their numerous disappearances and murders, a United Nations committee said in a report last Friday. The U.N.'s Committee

on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said the Canadian police and justice system failed to effectively protect Aboriginal women and hold perpetrators to account.

Read the full Reuters Canada article here. 



Muslim women in Canada explain why they wear a niqab

Women say they wear niqab for religious obligation and identity, not because of family or outside pressure: Canadian Council of Muslim Women report. Read the full Toronto Star article here.  

Addressing Canada's Women in IT Problem
Last Sunday was International Women's Day. It's edifying to take a day to remember the female struggle for equality, but when it comes to the Canadian IT sector, there is still much more work to be done the whole year round. The Information and Communication Technology Council (ICTC) found that the percentage of women in ICT is 24 per cent. Only one in four IT workers are female north of the border. That's a problem for Canada's IT sector. In late 2013, Canada's Information and Communications Technology Council argued that there is a significant IT skills shortage in Canada, which is something that CIOs tell us today. Read the full IT World Canada article here. 



Alberta has nation's biggest wage gap for women, report says  

The  report, The Alberta Disadvantage: Gender Taxation and Income Inequality, was written by Queens University law professor Kathleen Lahey. She said the wage difference in Alberta was wider than she expected. "It's a shocking 42 percent," said Lahey, who noted the gap is "much, much less in other provinces." Read the full CBC article here. 




This section includes excerpts from a number of Canadian news articles and press releases gathered from various sources. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.

International Women's Rights


World leaders pledge to achieve gender equality by 2030 

World leaders have pledged action to fully implement laws designed to protect women's rights and end discriminatory practices, following weeks of closed-door discussions that have been criticised by women's rights activists.

At the opening of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York on Monday, government ministers adopted a political declaration confirming their commitment to achieve gender equality by 2030. However, almost 1,000 women's rights and feminist groups issued a statement attacking the lack of transparency in the discussions around the declaration, which they said had resulted in a document that lacked ambition.

Read the full Guardian article here.


5 Women's Rights Activists Are Formally Detained in Beijing 

The police in Beijing have put five young female activists under formal detention on suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble," lawyers for four of the women said on Friday. The charge is one that the Chinese authorities have increasingly used in recent years to quell activism and discussion of social and political issues. Read the full New York Times article here.



Women's colleges are right to admit trans women, and not men 

Wellesley College is one of "Seven Sisters": seven historically single-sex colleges, all founded in the mid- to late-19th century. These were originally thought of as a women's version of the Ivy League (which accepted only men until the early 1970s). "The Higher Education of Women is one of the great world battle cries for freedom," said Wellesley founder Henry Durant back in the 1875, a time when women could not even vote. Today, Seven Sister alums include Gloria Steinam (Smith '56), Madeline Albright (Wellesley, '59) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (Wellesley '69).But Vassar has since gone co-ed. Radcliffe has merged with Harvard. The Seven Sisters are down to five, and other women's colleges in the United States are changing or closing down; last week Virginia's venerable Sweet Briar college announced it would shut its doors. Now that most US institutions of higher education are co-ed, all are re-examining their identities, purpose and viability as single-sex schools.Read the full Quartz article here. 



Gaza's female mediators stand up for women's rights

Women in Palestinian society are ashamed to discuss their problems with the male elders in charge of mediation committees. However, today, things have become easier for women, as the first female mediators have pushed forward social reform and now defend women's rights in tribal councils headed by men. Gazans go to these councils to settle their family problems and avoid going to court, where the resolution

process is much longer and complicated. Read the full Al Monitor article here. 


8 Must-Know Stats About Women's Rights Around The World From Hillary Clinton's "No Ceilings" Report

Although Hillary Clinton's email account has been making headlines, her foundation's "No Ceilings" report on the status of women's rights around the world is in dire need of the spotlight.  Twenty years ago at the United Nations' 4th World Conference On Women in Beijing, First Lady Clinton famously said, "If there is one message that echoes from this conference, let it be that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights, once and for all." This simple yet radical statement bears repeating (and repeating), and so the Clinton Foundation along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation compiled The Full Participation Report to flesh out all the ways women's rights have changed since the former Secretary of State's 1995 pronouncement. Read the full Bustle article here.


How Iranian Women Are Using Sharia to Their Benefit

Iranian women suffered legal discrimination both before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The main justification for discriminatory laws against women is that they are based on Sharia, and therefore cannot and should not be challenged. For decades, Iranian women have struggled to prove that Sharia does not discriminate against women per se. They challenge the discriminatory rules, arguing that the patriarchal norms and traditions inserted into Islamic law deprive women of equal rights . Read the full Al Monitor article here.





This section includes excerpts from a number of International news articles. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CFUW.